Finding Passion, Profit, and Purpose in your Photography Business with Dr Tomayia Colvin

SUBSCRIBE: iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher

podcast about Photography Business

Dr Tomayia Colvin shares her strategies on running a photography business that  feeds your personal why and embraces diversity, while staying profitable and fueled with a passion for your craft.

Introduction (3:04)

How did you get in photography? (4:01)

I used to be a scrapbooker, and I needed photos for layout!

Why did you choose senior photography to specialize in? (4:38)

I was a middle and high school teacher, so it was a natural progression.

Do you have any time management tips? (6:22)

Make a schedule that works for you specifically. I go to bed late, and get up late, and that works for me.

How do you figure out who your ideal client is? (9:15)

Your ideal client is not the same as your competition’s ideal client. You want someone who is attracted to you and that you appeal to. If they go to competition, they weren’t meant for you.

How can photographers become leaders in their photography business or community (12:09)

Know that there are times when you should put on a leadership hat, and times when you put on your learner hat. It’s not necessary to always be the center of attention. Sometimes our calling is not to be the leader, but rather to be a support.

How do you raise your prices and see your value? (15:23)

Face the fear. The lower your prices are, the more you have to work which turns into burnout. When burnt out, you cannot enjoy the fruits of your labour.

How often should you reevaluate your prices? (17:26)

Every time you decide to do anything different, like getting a studio.

How do you get over the embarrassment of your prices being too low? (18:43)

Realize that you’re not the only one. Realistically, everyone isn’t running their numbers every day. But make a start, and look at your numbers. If you see a problem, do something about it – reduce expenses, sell items, freeze purchases, etc. You should be charging realistically regardless of whether photography is your hobby or your sole income.

What do you do when you are feeling stagnant in your photography business? (21:44)

Take a step back from your photography business, and do a personal project and find your love again. Find your fun again. Photograph the things that bring you joy.

Why is having a purpose and a personal “why” so important? (23:24)

It is the thing that drive you every day. Knowing why you do something will drive you to do that thing every day. Success is different for everyone

What is “The Photo Cookout”? (25:03)

It is a conference tailored for black photographers. It was the result of a “what would you do if you weren’t scared” question.

What do you wish more photographers knew about showing diversity in their work? (28:10)

It starts at home. Know who your kids’ friends are. Make your own friend circle diverse. And Be able to listen to different perspectives.

What advice do you have for brand new photographers? (29:02)

Concentrate on your why. Keep dreaming. Keep learning. All the hardships I endured were important for my growth.

What are you creatively curious about? (32:52)

I’m trying to figure out where my next passion is.

If you enjoyed this podcast, be sure to check out our Podcast with Erin Elizabeth all about running a profitable photography business.

Discover more about Dr Tomayia Colvin

Instagram:  @
Facebook: @
Pinterest: @

Dr. Tomayia Colvin has been photographing high school seniors for more than nine years and was a classroom teacher for more than 10 years. She is also the founder of Tomayia Colvin Education, an online photography community created to empower photographers of color, the LGBTQ+ community, and be a safe haven of inclusion and diversity. She’s been an educator on Creative Live, WPPI, Imaging USA, B&H Depth of Field, United hosted by Showit, and a host of others. Dr. Colvin was recently named a Sony Artisan of Imagery.

She has been featured in articles in Professional Photography Magazine, Rangefinder Magazine, ShootProof, Black Enterprise, local newspapers, and radio stations.

Dr. Colvin is also the author of two best-selling children’s books, Mya’s Big Adventures: Career Day and The Adventure of Jaxon Maxwell: Jaxon Saves Christmas.

Additionally, she’s the proud founder and host of The Photo Cookout that celebrates and supports Black photographers and photographers of color.

Resources shared in this episode:

Building Your Story Brand book by Donald Miller

Free Pricing Calculator

The Photo Cookout

share the love

Leave a Comment




8 Signs You’re Heading for Photography Burnout – with Lisa DiGeso

Mind Your Mind: Mindfulness for Creativity with Heidi Hope

Say Yes to Scary Things – Getting Started in Family Films with Sarah Krieg

Capturing the Magic of Motherhood – Maternity Photography with Ashly Collins

Everyone Deserves To Have Their Story Told – Photographing Children with Special Needs with Iris Hu

Embracing Your Multi-Passionate Creative Self with D’Ana Joi Spencer

8 Ways to Get Out of a Creative Rut with Lisa Digeso

Finding your Artistic Voice with Fine Art Photographer Shannon Squires

Break the Rules! The Key to Creative Photography with Joanne Widart

Connective Storytelling Photography … No Business Needed! with Lindsey Shedd

The Art of Photography – Capturing Life in an Artistic Way with Sarah Gupta

It’s a Zoo! Photographing Kids and Pets in Fun, Whimsical Portraits with Andrea Martin

The World Needs Your Lens: How to Stay Motivated and Inspired in Your Photography with Kelly Goggin

The Painterly Effect – The Creative Process of Fine Art Photography with Emily Williams

How to Show Up Authentically – Social Media Strategies for Photographers with Elena Ringeisen

Rock Your Family Sessions: Inspiring Advice from Some of the World’s Best Family Photographers

Show The Love: Capturing Connection in Intimate Couples Sessions with Ang McCabe

How Shooting From Your Own Heart Evokes Emotion in Photography with Jyotsna Bhamidipati

Advising Clients What to Wear for a Photo Shoot Using Style and Select with Holly Mueller & Melissa Grindstaff

Legal Advice for Photographers – Protecting Your Business Without Losing Your Heart with Rachel Brenke

No Compromises – Ensuring Newborn Baby Safety with Stephanie Robin

Your Editing Style – Finding Your Voice In Photoshop with Morgan Burks

Knowing Your Numbers – Bookkeeping for Photographers with Tanya Hirschy

From Frazzled to Focused – Creating Photography Workflows and Systems with Iris-Works Founder Meredith Gradle